Davis Cup semis: Great Britain surprise favourites against Aussies
England have enjoyed facing Australia this summer in the Ashes cricket event, beating them 3-2 on home turf, and now Great Britain’s tennis team have a chance to inflict more misery on them in the Davis Cup semis.
Britain have not reached the final of this tournament since 1978, when the likes of John Lloyd and Buster Mottram lost to the USA. Incidentally, they had to face the Aussies in the semis that year too, and are odds-on favourites with Coral at 2/5 to beat them again.
The Brits are also 6/5 favourites to go on and lift their first Davis Cup since 1936, where they also met Australia (7/4 to reach the final), thanks to the efforts of Fred Perry and Bunny Austin.
This year, captain Leon Smith has led his team past the USA and defending champions France, despite being unfancied, and will be hoping his main man Andy Murray can inspire them to another victory in his homeland Scotland, on Glasgow’s indoor hard court.
One surprise call-up alongside Murray in the singles is world number 300 Dan Evans, who has been picked ahead of recent top 100-ranked duo Kyle Edmund and Davis Cup hero James Ward.
For the doubles, meanwhile, 2015 US Open doubles semi-finalists Jamie Murray (who went onto lose in the final) and Dom Inglot look set to pair up against Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Groth.
On Evans’ selection, Smith explained: “It wasn’t an easy one. Having thought about it a lot, the fact that Dan has played an awful lot of tennis this summer, he’s won a lot of matches – albeit mostly at Futures level. Winning really helps and he comes in with a lot of confidence.”
Evans (7/2 chance), who has won four of his 12 Davis Cup fixtures, is up against world number 24 Bernard Tomic (1/5 favourite), who he surprisingly beat in their only meeting back in 2013 at the US Open. The Englishman won 4-1 that day, and is a tempting 10/1 chance to do so by that scoreline again.
Murray junior (1/25) kicks off the tie, though, against another youngster Thanasi Kokkinakis (10/1). They have never met, but the Scot is 1/3 to triumph in straight sets.
The winner of this clash will have to face one of Belgium (2/5 favourites) and Argentina in the final in late November.
Coral’s top tip: Evans was a surprise call-up but has beaten Tomic before so is a tempting 7/2 chance to topple the Aussie again.